I'm new. Hi! I'm quiet in person but blather on forever when I ask a question on a forum. So, I'll try to format this in a manner that allows you to skip my rambling and get straight to the question, if you feel like it.
I encountered this forum through a random Google search about the PODHD, trying to figure out if it would ever have a 6505 model. That question was never answered, but I encountered a very well written, constructive thread comparing the POD HD with the AxeFX2 (this one: http://www.metalguitarist.org/forum/...both-long.html). That prompted me to want to pick some of the brains here.
And, the obligatory: I've skimmed the stickies and apologize if I'm unintentionally beating multiple dead horses here.
TL;DR folk, skip all this:
I'm in a somewhat similar situation to those in the aforementioned thread. My head is full of music I'm trying to record. I have a little home studio, if you can call it that. A powerhouse of a 15" Macbook Pro running Logic, a few Mackie monitors, a Focusrite audio interface, some nice Audio Technica headphones, and a handful of guitars (an Ibanez RG 927qm and an RG 1451 each loaded with a Crunch lab and Liquifire are my main guitars, and I have access to an amazing Ibanez 6 string BTB my friend has inexplicably left with me for some reason). You'll note I haven't mentioned an amp. Don't have one. Don't really want one either. I'm also a keyboardist, I have a cool utilitarian Roland Juno G, and I'm slowly trying to exploit, to the best of my ability, the wonders contained in Native Instruments Komplete 7 (will upgrade to 9 soon enough). The point I'm ever so slowly and verbosely getting to with that is: Komplete 7 happened to include Guitar Rig, which I've been using exclusively to record my guitar parts. I'm on version 5 by now, and I've more or less settled on a fairly simple rig including the 6505 model with a "vintage" cabinet, an SM57, an ever so slight treble boost at 731hz (for whatever reason), and a tube screamer in front of it all (just as a boost). Of course, that doesn't include the requisite eq cuts and a multi-band compressor in Logic itself.
This is working well enough for me. I'm liking my tone. I spent ages fiddling with the rectifier models, including the excellent "Rammfire" one, but ultimately settled on the 6505, because it just cuts in a way that I can't seem to get the rectifiers to do. They sound great solo, but always sound sort of scooped in the mix. I can't get them to really play nice with my synths the way I can the 6505.
Now, a friend of mine picked up a POD HD500 recently, and I've had some chances to play with that. Since I'm much more experienced in the tweaking and dialling in department than he is, he basically set me loose on it and told me to get him a good tone. And, I do think I managed that with the rectifier model. So, of course, that got me thinking: Maybe I should consider a hardware alternative to what I'm doing now.
I like Guitar Rig. It works really well. But, what bugs me about it: Damn it's a resource hog! I can have dozens of tracks of various soft-synths going, drumkit from hell, and all manner of compressors, equalizers, reverbs, and all of it runs just fine. As soon as I add 2-5 instances of Guitar Rig (depending on if I'm dual or quad tracking, and accounting for my bass track), my cpu usage heads straight for the clouds. It's the reason I have this beast of a Macbook Pro, really. The hyperthreaded, quad core i7 in this thing can actually handle all that Guitar Rig. Even so, it occurred to me that I could downsize this laptop that I take with me to work every day to a 13" if I didn't need the power for Guitar Rig.
I've always viewed an Axe-FX as sort of the final stage of my gear evolution. My two RGs are perfect. I adore them. They aren't super high end, but with those Dimarzios in them, they are perfect for me and sound excellent through everything they've been plugged into. Pretty good for what was about $1000-1200 a pop. But, that Axe-FX. Many of my favourite newer albums feature it prominently. Many of my favourite songwriters and guitarists swear by it (the Dev, for instance). But sheesh it's expensive! So, I can't ignore that POD HD either, even if it doesn't have a 6505 model.
TL;DR folk, resume here:
So, I guess what I'm curious about, to those who have access to all of them: Can anyone compare and contrast the mighty Axe FX (the end-game), the POD HD (the much cheaper but still pretty good alternative), and particularly Guitar Rig (what I'm using now)? Moving to a hardware amp sim is becoming increasingly appealing so I can switch to a less powerful but much more portable computer, but I would like to actually gain something in the tone department as well.
For those of you who read the entire damn thing, any other advice (besides "OMG STFU already!")?
I've played the HD500. It was awesome. Specifically/especially what you spend for it. My teacher has it, and he believes it has better tone that that of his Trem-o-verb, or Triple Rec. He believes it is better than my amp. And that's where he got slapped.
I have a 6505+. It is a ridiculous monster of an amp. As always, subjective to your genre, and your taste. 8/10 bands I listen to play it, and it sounds just as good every day when I play it as it does on albums.
Now, personally, I've never played the AFX2, however, some of, if not my #1 favorite tones are recorded from this unit. Songs like Interval's Epiphany(Recorded with Crunchlab/Liquifire, give it a listen), and Tom Quayle(the only two i could think of off the top of my head. )
You should never make a gear decision based on a YT video or some guys online advice, unless the advice is:
"Find a store that stocks them, and try them yourself"
That may be a problem with the AFX, but if you think you want it, and are really sure that the AFX is YOU, go for it. That's what the guys here taught me.